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Data Visualization with JavaScript by Stephen A. Thomas

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Chapter 5. Displaying Timelines

The most compelling visualizations often succeed because they tell a story; they extract a narrative from data and reveal that narrative to their users. And as with any narrative, time is a critical component. If the data consists solely of numbers, a standard bar or line chart can easily show its evolution over time. If the data is not numerical, however, standard charts probably won’t work. This chapter considers several alternatives for time-based visualizations.

All are based on some variation of a timeline; one linear dimension represents time, and events are places along that dimension based on when they occurred. In all of the examples, we’ll consider the same underlying data: a possible chronology of the ...

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